Covent Garden's name has its origins in the mists of time - dating back to the reign of King John in the 13th century. It was a 40 acre site and formed the large kitchen garden for the Convent or Abbey of St Peter at Westminster.
Hotels in Covent Garden
|The Strand Palace||One Aldwych|
|The Waldorf Hilton||St Martins Lane
A Morgans Original
|Kingsway Hall Hotel||Radisson Edwardian
A Guoman Hotel
|Swissotel The Howard
|The Grand At
|The Royal Trafalgar||Royal Horseguards Hotel|
|The Trafalgar Hilton||Hazlitts Hotel|
For the benefit of visitors, the land is bordered by St Martin's Lane in the west, Drury Lane in the east, Floral Street to the north and Maiden Lane to the south.
The monks' 'convent garden' became a major source of fruit and vegetables in London and, for the next 700 years, Covent Garden became inexorably linked with fresh 'fruit and veg'.
The houses built here in the 1630s by one of London's most famous architects, Inigo Jones, were designed for "Gentlemen and men of ability". Before they were destroyed by the Great Fire of London, Covent Garden was regarded as the most fashionable place to live in London.
Today, Covent Garden is still a very lively and fashionable place to shop and dine. It attracts a variety of people including tourists, opera and theatre-goers and shoppers.
Covent Garden Shops
There are several young fashion designer shops in Neal Street including Diesel and Miss Sixty, Urban Outfitters and Bench in Shelton Street, and Hobbs and Zara in Long Acre.
For the traditional British arts and crafts and antiques, head for the Apple Market and the Jubilee Market. It is claimed that the Apple Market will be the only market in London that sells unique hand-made craft products which are only produced within the UK.
The Apple Market supports the arts and crafts industry of Great Britain by creating an environment that genuinely nurtures art and crafts. In the long-term, the aim is to build on Covent Garden’s famous arts and crafts heritage by building a creative hub that showcases the best in unique hand-made goods.
The Piazza is an open-air market selling traditional British food and exotic delights every Thursday. Experience the hustle and bustle of the stallholders, the cries of the area’s famous street entertainers and the amazing aromas coming from the bubbling pots and freshly cooked goods on offer.
To mark the first London Restaurant Festival (October 8th - 13th, 2009), PizzaExpress Dough Acrobats gave a musical performance with lessons on spinning and tossing - dough!!
Covent Garden Restaurants
Eating out in the Piazza is a sheer delight. With such a vast array of food on offer together with live music to keep you entertained, your main problem is deciding what to eat.
There are lots of interesting things to see and keep you entertained here, including:
The Royal Opera House in Bow Street, is home to the Royal Opera, the Royal Ballet and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. The original theatre on this site was built in 1732 and the current majestic building is the third, following disastrous fires in 1808 and 1857. The first ballet was presented in 1734. Handel's first season of operas began in 1735.
Theatre tickets for performances at the Royal Opera House include:
The Theatre Royal, in Drury Lane, is the oldest theatre in London. It has been on this site since 1663, although the present building dates from 1811. All previous buildings were destroyed by The Great Fire of London in 1666.
Other theatre tickets for shows in and around here include:
Many famous people of the nineteenth century, including Charles Dickens, have dined there. It is claimed that to the right of the main entrance is a side door built for Edward VII so that he could entertain his lady friends in private.
Also the pub at number 13 Maiden Lane has been there since 1692.
Covent Garden is the place to explore next time you visit London. There are lots of theatres, restaurants, pubs, cafes and shops for you to enjoy.